Current and Recently Taught Courses

NETWORKED JOURNALISM
University of Denver

This course traces the shift that has taken place over the past 15 years from mass-mediated journalism to networked journalism, with emphasis on experiments in citizen and open-source news and the changing relationship between journalists and their publics. Students will critically assess some of the most controversial news coverage of the era—including coverage of the first Gulf War, the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and recent civil unrest in France—in order to analyze emerging news cultures and practices and their impact on the public and on democracy more generally.

ACTIVIST MEDIA: A HISTORICAL OVERVIEW 1960-2008
University of Denver

In studying 1960s-era Students for a Democratic Society, Todd Gitlin demonstrated how the group’s attempts to attract media attention ended with its giving over the movement message to reporters and editors. Today’s alternative cultures use internet and mobile technologies to access and circulate mainstream information, but also to rapidly exchange information that exists outside mainstream media channels. Activist movements today with access to digital tools and networks are no longer dependent on newspapers and broadcast networks to represent them, to disseminate their messages. On the contrary, these wired cultures are developing sophisticated public relations strategies. We are, however, just beginning to see how the proliferation of alternative networks of communication, and the content, practices, and identities they facilitate, interact with traditional political and business organizations, as well as with traditional media products and practices. This course focuses on media activism over the past half-century tied to various movements. We’ll examine the similarities and differences among media strategies with an emphasis on contemporary protest movements and their use of new and old media.

DIGITAL MEDIA STUDIES RESEARCH METHODS
University of Denver

This course explores strategies and techniques for conducting graduate level research in the area of digital media studies. It is also a course in applied theory and will engage the ideas of major historical and contemporary thinkers in order to build on and respond to their work on the intersection of technology, culture and various forms of power. The goals of the course are: 1) the strengthen your ability to critically assess digital media technologies and practices and the various methods used to research them; 2) to build the skills and knowledge necessary to create theoretically informed digital media artifacts and analyses; and 3) to implement these skills in writing your master’s project/thesis proposal.

CRITICAL APPROACHES TO DIGITAL MEDIA
University of Denver

This course introduces students to the historical, economic, social and behavioral context of the digital media with particular emphasis on the Social Web—the so-called web 2.0 technologies focused on social interaction and community. The rapid growth of participatory culture online through, for example, interactive news sites, community boards, bookmarking, tagging, virtual worlds, gaming, IM, social networking, and blogging has significant social implications and brings up issues of privacy, intellectual property, and the nature of community and public engagement. This class will explore these issues as they manifest in various cases including politics, youth culture, activism, news and art. Particular emphasis will be placed on the question of how new media differs from mass media across various fields of cultural production (music, news, advertising, for example) and on what influence new digital products and practices might have on these industries and on cultures and societies more generally.

PUBLIC RELATIONS AND SOCIETY
University of Southern California

New-media tools and the evolving relationship between media consumers and producers are widening the field of PR significantly to include everyday people and groups who until now have not had access to the means to represent themselves and their issues to the public. At the same time corporate and political PR is enjoying unprecedented influence over the media agenda. It is no secret, for example, that the current presidential administration has spent record amounts on PR or that video news releases it has created often end up on broadcast news channels. Nor is it a secret that some of the most popular “personal” videos on YouTube have been produced clandestinely by marketing firms. Corporate agendas often merge with news agendas, compromising the role of the press and the viability of the public sphere. This course explores these trends, the increasing participatory communication, as well as the blurred agendas and overlap, asking students to critically assess the new expanded role of public relations in public life.

THE INTERNET AND THE POLITICS OF CONTROL
American University of Paris

Drawing on cultural theory formulated by academics as well as techno-culture journalists and novelists, this course explores the development of the Internet, its role in society and the ongoing contests to control it. Topics include: hackers, filesharing, online journalism, virtual communities, online dating, activist networks, intellectual property law, e-commerce, and the new economy.

GLOBAL MEDIA POWER AND RESISTANCE
University of California Berkeley

Does today’s transnational flow of images, products and people lead to a global culture dominated by Nike, McDonalds, CNN and Disney? Or does it foster a global community where people can address common problems such as environmental pollution and human rights abuses? This course explores these and other questions related to international mass communication and globalization. It also examines how globalization is influencing mass- and networked-communication products and organizations and the cultural implications of these developments.